Posts Tagged ‘chalean extreme’

Sorry for the obsession…

posted on Monday, March 31st, 2010 under General Ramblings, Things that piss me off |

Granted, Calvin Klein owes more apologies for this than I do, but whatever.

Yes, this is another post about working out. And weight loss. And frustration. And dumbbells. Choose your own adventure…would you like to hear more? Keep reading! Tired of the subject? Go away! (I say that with love.)

This is my third week of ChaLEAN Extreme. I love it, but I’m getting really upset at the lack of weight loss I’ve had. I don’t follow the recommended diet because I dislike most of the ingredients used and, with my schedule, I rely on a lot of pre-packaged foods. Don’t tell me to stop eating processed foods – I know I should, but I don’t cook much and if I’m going to stick to any sort of healthy eating regime, it has to work with my schedule and habits. I have read the guide, though, so I try to stay in the general vicinity of what to eat.

I have been eating a bazillion more servings of fruit and veggies than I have in recent history, and when T wants to eat out, I fend for myself and eat at home. If I do eat out, it’s at Subway or Applebees, where I order a WW menu item. I burn a lot more calories now, with the new workouts and the constant use of stairs at work, so I try to account for that without going overboard. If I splurge, it’s rare and it’s generally after one of my long walks. I don’t drink heavily and if I do have a drink or two, it’s not more than once a week. And I’ve cut way down on the amount of diet soda I drink. AND I quit coffee. So two sources of artificial sweeteners have been reduced/eliminated. That’s progress.

On top of sacrificing most things that are delicious, I also have no life on account of my new workout schedule and walk training. Seriously – this is what my weeks are like now:

  • Monday – 40 minute strength workout – all of these require lifting heavy and reaching total muscle failure by the 10-12 rep and integrate upper and lower body into each move
  • Tuesday – a different 40 minute strength workout, sometimes a 20 minute cardio workout
  • Wednesday – rest
  • Thursday – 50 minute intense cardio/muscled endurance workout, 10 minute ab workout
  • Friday – yet another 40 minute strength workout (these are all so hard, but this one is the worst)
  • Saturday – 35 minute super intense cardio workout, 20 minute yoga workout
  • Sunday – rest, but every other week is a long walk/run for the 50-mile walk training (this week was 14 miles in the windy rain on a mostly unpaved path with 6 killer hills, and I ran at least a mile of it)

I don’t mind the schedule, especially if I’m getting amazing results, but I’m not. I mean, I can see small improvements all over my body and I know I’m building muscle, but when the scale isn’t moving much, I get frustrated. And when I get frustrated, I am more likely to give up.

I understand that some fat is being replaced by muscle (and no, muscle does not weigh more than fat – a pound is a pound) and that during intense strength training, your muscles retain a bit more water than usual as they repair themselves…but after 2.5 weeks AND with being on a prescription diuretic, I would have thought a real loss would have shown up by now. It hasn’t and I can’t get over it. I’m mad! I have NEVER pushed myself this way before. Maybe my body needs a little more time to adjust, but if that’s the case, I wish it’d hurry up already.

Also good to note – my doctor ran blood work a few weeks ago and they came back great. All my mineral/vitamin counts are good, my good cholesterol is well above the minimum, my bad is much lower than the maximum and my triglycerides are good. And my blood pressure is back to a normal level. So things are good in that aspect, but the scale there showed an 11 pound gain over my last visit 2.5 months ago. Come on, now. That’s ridiculous. Grrrr.

Also ridiculous – I tested my scale this morning. I woke up, actually pooped (woohoo!), weighed (165) and proceeded to straighten my hair, brush my teeth and put my makeup on – still naked. I weighed again on my way to get dressed and I was up to 165.6. Really? I didn’t eat or drink a thing and I sure did NOT put on that much makeup. WTF??? Stupid.

So obviously, I need to re-examine my diet and tell the scale to suck it.

In other news…in an attempt NOT to go broke, I bought a set of Reebok Speed Pac 25 adjustable dumbbells. In my excitement, I assumed “Speed Pac 25″ meant that each hand weight maxed at 25 pounds. Nope, each maxes at 12.5 for a total weight of 25 for the set. So that’s no good and they are going back to the store. I need higher weights than that. And holding a 10-lb weight and a 3- or 5-lb weight together in one hand just isn’t working. My poor hands can’t take it.

So I’m looking into a more expensive but more versatile set – like the Bowflex SelectTechs and the PowerBlock. If anyone has insights on either, I’d love to hear them. I’ve heard some negatives on the SelectTechs, but nothing on the PowerBlock. I have to buy something before the next phase starts in a week and a half – preferably sooner since I’m finding it hard to reach failure with the weights I have now. I’m impressed with how strong I’ve gotten already, so maybe I should just focus on that and not worry so much about the scale. My size 10 jeans fit comfortably, so I guess I shouldn’t complain…

Anyway. That’s all I got right now. I’m going to enjoy my rest day and pretend tomorrow’s hell workout isn’t lurking around the corner…

It’s time to get extreme

posted on Monday, March 16th, 2010 under General Ramblings |

I have a feeling I’m going to dread hearing that soon…but for now, bring it on.

Last week, I finally caved and ordered the ChaLEAN Extreme fitness program from Beachbody. I’ve been wanting it for a while now, especially after reading this article that compares CE to P90X, another program I’ve been considering.

What made me choose CE over P90X? Several things, actually. First of all, I’m intimidated by P90X and not sure how I’ll do with it. I can handle Jillian Michaels DVDs, although with a bit of huffing and puffing, but I don’t know if that’s really a gauge for my overall fitness level. And not that intimidation should stop me – I love a good challenge – but I haven’t done workouts with this trainer before, while I’m very familiar and comfortable with Chalene’s style.

Second, I really have no where to put a pull-up bar and I have no doorway with which to use the resistance bands for the alternative exercise, and I hear this is a key part of the program (i.e., I can’t just skip those parts). I already have most of what I need to do CE (except now I want the SelectTech dumbbells they use, and I still need some more hand weights).

Third, CE will provide an intense workout in less time. P90X workouts range from 60-90 minutes, while the longest CE routine runs 45 minutes. Not having time is always an excuse for me, so I wanted to do everything I could to offset that from the get-go.

Sunday, I took a couple of before pics (not sure if I’m brave enough to post – even after losing 50+ pounds, I’m still not looking great), took my measurements and body fat and watched the intro DVD. Yesterday, I officially kicked off the program.

I definitely need more weights – I’m stronger than I thought in some areas and the point is to work your muscles to the point of failure. The deliberate, slow technique is amazing – I can feel every second of work I’m putting in and can tell that I’ll get results. The parts that kill, though, are when Chalene says, “It’s time to get extreme.” After a 10-second pause, you do 3 more reps AFTER your muscles have reached failure. INTENSE.

I love the phasing technique of CE and P90X, and my intent is to complete CE and be totally ready to begin P90X. Guess we’ll see where that goes!

I have other stuff to say, but I’ll make a new post for that…in the meantime, here’s my current instant-smile obsession: